Miss(ter) Belize


delia_icon.gif nick_icon.gif

Scene Title Miss(ter) Belize
Synopsis Time is precious, especially when you don't have much.
Date March 25, 2017

Delia's House — Toru Memorial Garden

The first sign Nick is home is the sight of his truck out on the curb. When Delia opens the door, there's the scent of "spag bol" permeating the house as it emanates from the kitchen. On the kitchen table sits a new vase of bright yellow and pink tulips; on the counters some groceries he hasn't put away yet. Wherever he's come from doesn't have the food shortage problems the Safe Zone has, so there's plenty of non-perishables, cans and boxes, yet to be put away.

Nick himself is standing over the stove, fighting with the second burner's pilot to put on the water to boil for pasta. Click-click-click. "Hey," he calls when he hears her enter the house. "Come turn this burner on before I blow up the whole house."

"Oh, it doesn't work," Delia replies, kicking her boots off at the door before crossing into the kitchen. There, Nick is given a uick peck on the cheek as a greeting before she grabs a box of matches. "The flint wore out a few weeks ago and I haven't gotten anyone out to fix it yet." The same could be said for a few other things in the house, none of it too dangerous, except the stove but she doesn't use it that often.

The smell of sulphur permeates the air as the match sparks and flares to life. Turning on the burner again, she touches the end to the gas and jumps back as all of it ignites in a burst of flame. "There we go!" She turns around to smile at Nick, a triumphant smile on her features. "You bought groceries!"

"We make fire!" Nick says in caveman style, turning to grin at her triumphant expression and then reaching for her to kiss her more properly. "Hi," he says, taking a moment to gaze at her face, like he might have forgotten what she looks like.

It hasn't been that long, and he sees her often enough in dreams or in FaceTime — when she can get cell service.

He turns to the counter and nods. "I wasn't sure where you put all this and didn't want to mess up your system. There's more in the refrigerator, too." Anything he could put in a cooler with some ice blocks to make the drive.

He turns to look at her again, some worry in his expression. "How are you?"

Delia's eyebrows twitch up a little as she pulls back with a silly grin, "All these years and you still don't know the system?" Not that she has one. There are cupboards dedicated to dishes and others reserved for non-perishables but they're not really organized.

When he turns to the counter, she moves to the bags and starts pulling things out of them. "OoOOoooo ramen and instant mac!" Her squeal of excitement at things she's actually proficient is almost ear splitting. As she puts the groceries on the shelf, she shrugs a little and turns her head to look at him over her shoulder. "I'm… I'll be okay when I can start planting."

"Don't say I never gave you anything," says Nick with amusement at the excitement. As she sets about putting the groceries away, he sets the pot of water on the burner to boil, then begins to help her. "I thought I did but then there were napkins where I thought the ramen should go, and that confused my man brain so I thought I'd better just wait."

He puts away a couple of items, before leaning against the refrigerator. "Yeah? Soon right? April and May?" He doesn't have the head for plants that she does, but does remember what she's told him in the past. "Any surprises planned or the same as last year?"

"I have some new roses for Toru's memorial." She points toward the bedroom, beyond that to the closet where he knows she keeps her most valuable things. "They're special ones that I had brought in. I'm hoping it warms up enough to get them in the ground soon. Just wait until you see the blooms, they're all shades of orange and red, they should go really well with the tiger lilies."

Her smile becomes wider and much easier when she's talking about that particular plot, the one that's reserved from any produce. Her eyes drift to look out the window where, in the distance, the gate to the garden can be seen. "This year, it's going to be themed like fire. It'll start out with creams and yellows, then go to orange and red."

When her expression grows brighter, his seems to darken. He's not as able as she is to separate the good and the bad, the love from the pain, when it comes to those they've lost. His gaze follows hers and he nods, to indicate he's listening. It's a little too long of a moment before he speaks.

"He'd have liked that," he finally says — it's perhaps the right thing to say but it falls a little hollow, because he and Toru certainly never spoke about roses or gardens.

Suddenly, he adds, "I'd like to go up to Pollepel one of these days." The words are flat, straight forward, before he adds, more tentatively, "Do you want to go with me?"

"Maybe," Delia murmurs in response to whether or not Toru would like the garden, she likes to think he would. "I like to think he would, mostly because it's… it's a place just for him."

She rests her head against Nick's shoulder and places a hand on his lower back when he gives the invitation. "You know I do, wild horses can't keep me from going." Wild horses or ghosts, neither could. Even though she doesn't ever go on her own, because ghosts. "Whose boat are we going to take? Or are we getting a lift?"

"Then he would, for sure. Because you made it for him," Nick says, reaching to wrap his arm around Delia and resting his head on top of hers.

His other shoulder lifts in a shrug. "I'll rent one, I think. I don't really want to be on someone else's schedule, you know?" He glances toward where she's keeping the roses warm in the other room. "Maybe we can bring a rosebush for her, too. What's that lavender one called? I think she'd have liked that one. Unless there's one you think she'd have liked more."

"Hmmm lavender," Delia muses softly, hugging Nick a little tighter. "There's a few… ocean song, sterling silver, sweet moon." Bumping Nick with her hip she slips away and walks into the livingroom to flop on the couch.

"C'mere and pick out the one you want," she calls to him as she picks a floral catalog off the table and starts flipping through it. "I'm pretty sure that Ingrid can get anything pretty quickly," she continues on. Before he gets there, she tosses quick glance to the stove to make sure the pasta isn't boiling over.

"If you think she'd like it. I don't think red or white seem right. But something that would have a chance of living out there, too," he says quietly. Nick reluctantly lets his arm slip away from her as she moves from him, then follows to sit on the couch beside her.

"I don't know anything about this sort of thing," he says quietly. "Did I…" he chuckles and shakes his head. "Did I ever tell you when I first got to New York, she made me think she was dead? I put a memorial for her out on Staten Island. Like an idiot." He actually smiles at the memory, shaking his head. "I want you to have say in it, too. It'll be from both of us. Which do you think she'd like?"

"You never did, no," Delia utters as she flips through the catalog absently, her eyes on him instead of the pictures. "I don't think it's idiotic. Buuuuuuut.. I can see how you'd feel like a bit of an idiot after you found out though." She leans over and rests her head against his shoulder again, snuggling a little closer.

Once comfortable, she glances back down at the pages and hums softly. "Roses are easy and will come back every year, so we'll plant some of those for sure…" tapping the page, she points out a different species of flower altogether. "I think we should put in some daylilies too, white ones."

Falling silent and a little more solemn, she chews on her lip nervously before speaking again. "We should invite Benji, they were…" close, in some time.

"Those are pretty," he agrees. He's quiet for a moment, waiting for her to finish her thought — it's a companionable silence, though, rather than an awkward one. The type that comes with age and time.

When she doesn't speak again, he nods. "I know," he murmurs. He saw the moment that passed between his child and his sister when Eileen died in the courtyard of Bannerman. "Maybe she has an idea of what Eileen would have liked, too," he adds, leaning his cheek against her red hair. He's silent again, his breath aligning with hers as they simply breathe in and out for a few minutes. "I can probably get away any day with a day or two's head's up. If you reach out to her, we can do it whenever she's not too busy. The farthest I'm likely to go any time soon is Montreal."

"I'll call her tomorrow," Delia murmurs, curling the edge of the page into a tight cylinder and unfurling it. "We could do it before you leave?" She lifts her head a little, just to look at Nick with her eyebrows raised. "Aaaannnnnnd there's a thing at Yamagato Park," the change of subject is so smooth, "will you be around for it? I'm splurging for a ticket, not that I can't afford it…" she's just a little bit cheap. "Do you want me to pick one up for you too?

"The last fancy thing I went to was with Tania," she adds with a toothy grin on her face. "And even though she's way better looking than you are, I don't think I'm her type."

"A thing," he says, looking amused. "This week should be fine, if she can go. If not, just let me know her availability and I'll work it out. As for this thing — I can pay for your ticket — and mine, if you want me to go. Depends on when it is, but I don't have anything specific on the schedule yet."

He puts a hand to his chest, to feign injury, when he says Tania is way better looking than him. "I mean, I'm not going to disagree with you, but you're brutal. What fancy thing was that?" he asks curiously, leaning back and tugging her with him, before propping his feet up on the coffee table.

"An auction last night," she answers quickly, flipping the pages of the catalog to the herbal section. "A really fancy auction, black tie and everything." Delia doesn't mention the smaller details, like the name and place. Licking her lips, she peruses the different plants on the page she's on. "What do you think about cinnamon basil? Should I get some of that? What do you even use cinnamon basil in?" Flip.

"And, I'm really happy that you're going to pay because it's three hundred dollars a ticket," reaching over, she laces her fingers with his and squeezes lightly. "It's in two weeks, the seventh."

"I like basil. I like cinnamon. I'm not sure if cinnamon basil goes together, but who knows, yeah? I'm not a chef." Speaking of which he glances up at the sound of water hitting burner.

Nick laughs at the casual mention of the ticket price, but lifts his shoulder. "You need money for a dress or anything?" He gets paid well enough and lives cheaply enough that it's not unaffordable. He kisses her cheek and extricates himself from her grip to go check on the water and drops in the spaghetti to boil. "Do I have to wear a tux?" he asks, leaning in the doorway to wait for the pasta to cook.

"Well it is a gala," Delia grins widely as she straightens up and puts the catalog down. "And yeah, I should probably get something a little nicer, I can't just keep borrowing Tania's clothes… and shoes." Because she can't imagine wearing her boots with a ballgown. "I'll borrow some of her jewelry though. There's no way I'm going to be able to afford any of my own and I don't think my finest cubic zirconias will cut it."

Her gaze lingers over his frame, maybe appreciatively. "I've never seen you in a tux," she muses, "I'm going to consider it my valentine's day present… but not my birthday present. So you're not quite off the hook yet."

He winces a little when she mentions presents, but grins a moment later. "I thought the fern was your birthday present," he says lightly, moving to a cupboard to pull out a colander. He sets this on the counter, before going to the duffel bag sitting in the corner, pulling out a small white box, tied with a silver bow. It's too large and too flat to be a ring, so that at least should keep her from getting too anxious. He moves back toward the couch, leaning against the arm of a nearby chair as he hands it to her. "Happy birthday. Sorry I'm a jackass and was out of town."

Delia passes a narrow-eyed look at Nick and shakes her head slowly, "The fern was for Christmas."

The box is taken with great care and her jaw clenches as she flits a look from the box to Nick and back again. "You're always out of town, Nick," she says it in a lighthearted manner, because she's not trying to make him feel guilty. "I'm pretty used to it and honestly… it's not bad. Absence, heart, fonder, yadda yadda." She winks just before she pries open her gift. Her face falls and her cheeks flush before she glance up at Nick with raised brow. "This is… beautiful…"

His brows draw together and he looks like he might apologize, but then she opens the present. The reaction is a bit mixed. He takes a breath, but then glances toward the kitchen. "Pasta," he says, pushing off the chair's arm to go back in, grab a potholder get the pasta off the stove. "I know you don't have a lot of occasion to wear it, but you should have beautiful things, you know?" he says over his shoulder. "And I put in for time off. April 5 through the 26th." This is spoken to the sink as he drains the spaghetti. "You hungry now or later?" he says back over his shoulder.

"Three whole weeks where I don't have to share you with Miss Belize?" Delia jumps up off the couch and races into the kitchen. She fidgets, hopping from one foot to the other as she waits impatiently for him to move the pot off the stove.

Once it's done, she practically leaps into his arms. "Best birthday present ever~" her singing voice isn't great, not by a mile, but it's clear that she's much happier with that news than with the jewelry. Or maybe a combination of both. "Hungry now," she grins up at him, "thank you for the bracelet and earrings…" she pauses, for effect and then delivers a suggestive wink, "later."

About bowled over by her throwing himself into his arms, he catches her, laughing. "Well. I sent her a plane ticket but I haven't heard if she is redeeming it or not," he teases, before leaning in to kiss her. One hand reaches up to stroke her hair back from her face, tucking it behind her ear, before he lifts his head again to look at her.

"Three whole weeks. I can help plant, too, if you trust me not to doom every plant I touch with my black thumb." He kisses her once more lightly, before reaching for the plates and beginning to dish out the pasta and then the sauce. "If you don't like the jewelry we can exchange it for something else. I heard about the gala and was going to ask you if you wanted to go — should've known you'd beat me to it."

"I dunno Nick," Delia grins as she opens the cutlery drawer to pull out two sets, which she brings to the table. "My entire livelihood depends on no black thumbs." Tap water isn't good enough, not this time, neither is her homemade gross tea. So, she grabs two bottles of distilled out of the fridge and two glasses out of the cupboard.

"I love the jewelry, so there's no way that you're prying it out of my cold dead hands." Glasses placed, water poured, she takes her seat kitty corner from Nick's. It's her house, her table, she sits at the head. "And did you really think you could beat me to asking for a date? Really?"

Once the plates are piled with spaghetti and bolognese sauce, he carries those to the table to set at their two spots. It's hearty and he's learned to cook it well — that and two or three other dishes, along with eggs and steak, are about the extent of his culinary repertoire, though.

"Well, I figured you knew about it, but maybe hadn't thought about going. It's pretty pricy to stand around and look at a few katanas and drink a few glasses of wine, but you're worth it," he says, sliding into his seat and picking up a fork.

"Especially if you get a super slinky dress," he adds, before twirling his fork in the noodles.

Her fork is twirled as well, in a languid fashion as she gives him a smirk and a raised eyebrow. "Super slinky?" she snerks, not snorts— not this time. "I was thinking about a mumu." She takes a large bite, almost too large.

But she manages to chew and swallow it.

"Anyway," after clearing her throat, "I'm not that poor Nick. I can afford a ticket, so I was going to go. I was hoping with you, but…" She doesn't say without him but she winks. Then takes another bite.

"That's not what I meant," Nick says with a roll of his eyes, but his smile is a fond one. "No mumus or I'll wear an all white tuxedo and embarrass you. Or maybe I'll get one of those ruffled ones in pale blue or something, right? At least you'd be able to find me at all times. Just follow the sound of people snickering at me behind my back."

He reaches with his free hand to touch hers. "Just so long as you don't go with Mister Belize without me," he says with a grin.

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